Courage

When Catholics Fight Back

SB 360, also known as Senate Bill 360, a proposal requiring priests in California to break the sacramental seal of confession, was placed on hold by its sponsor, State Senator Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), on 9 June, right before a hearing on the bill. For months before the vote, activists in California, across the nation, [...]

A Catholic Call to Courage

As he stood before the rain-soaked crowd estimated to be as great as 20,000, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn—with that truly Russian sense of solemn sincerity and conviction—suggested to the 1978 graduating class of Harvard University that what the West lacked above all else—and in his view the West lacked quite a good bit—was courage. Said Solzhenitsyn: A decline in [...]

Does a Rainbow Flag Belong in a Catholic Church?

Recently, parishioners burned a Rainbow Flag in Chicago. They felt justified to take matters into their own hands because they recognized that the ideology represented by that flag challenges the truths upheld by the Church. So they did something about it. And now one priest is paying the price. The Rainbow Flag in the Church? [...]

What Fr. James Martin Should Have Said in Ireland

Somehow, almost overnight, our culture decided that an “LGBT” identity is something that one is born with. There is no research proving this. As a matter of fact, the American Psychological Association website states that, although much research has been done, scientists have not reached a consensus on the causes. However, our culture speaks of [...]

More Reasons Why “Blessing” Gay Couples Is Scandalous

When the Church “blesses” someone, it usually does so for one of two reasons: to ask God to protect that person from evil, or to confirm that person in the good. Because our spiritual lives are dynamic—at no point are we “holy” enough to rest on our laurels—those two reasons are usually two sides of [...]

In Praise of the Dunkirk Trilogy

One can take heart that two truly worthy films have earned a total of 14 Academy Award nominations between them—two films with overlapping themes of personal courage, patience in adversity, and love of country. Come March 4, I hope they sweep their categories. Christopher Nolan’s 2017 Dunkirk, with eight nominations, tells the story of the [...]

A Fraternal Invitation to Bishop McElroy and Father Martin

As a deacon, only once have I had the privilege of sitting around a table with one priest and one bishop, effectively forming a trio representing the three degrees of Holy Orders during a stimulating conversation about the Catholic faith. I have such an exchange in mind as I write this essay—I see what follows [...]

There Are Monsters Out There

Charity. Forgiveness. Love. Mercy. Peace. Here is the heart of the Gospel, the core of the classic Christian message. Should we, then, find someone today who models these ineffable virtues and seek to elect him, or her, to the presidency? Should a person of such transcendent noble character serve as a diplomat, a military leader, [...]

Stepping Forward in Courage

Rilene, Paul, and I went to Rome to give our testimonies at a conference and resource event titled “Living the Truth in Love.”  This conference was scheduled two days prior to the start of the Synod, and was co-sponsored by Courage International, Ignatius Press, and the Napa Institute as a way to begin a dialogue [...]

Is the Homosexual Tendency a Complex Reality?

The title of this essay asks a question drawn from the literature of a recently concluded conference in Rome. This conference—entitled “Living the Truth in Love”—intended to probe “the complex reality of homosexual tendencies.” The conference was sponsored by Ignatius Press and Courage, an international organization that offers spiritual support to persons with homosexual tendencies. [...]

Reflections Inspired by the Courage Conference in Detroit

Modern times being what they are, it can be quite difficult to have a civil, Catholic discussion of same-sex attraction. People who experience it are sometimes reluctant to speak out about their experiences, which is understandable considering that those who do speak open themselves to criticism from many directions. For those who are not same-sex [...]

Does Being “Gay” Make You an “Expert” on Homosexuality?

Imagine that you are a critic of the “Welcoming and Accompanying Our Brothers and Sisters with Same-Sex Attraction” conference, sponsored by the Courage apostolate and the Detroit Archdiocese, August 10-12. You could stand outside the venue in Plymouth, Michigan, holding signs on the first morning of the conference, as some couple-dozen members of a dissenting [...]

The Witness of Heroism

“In my beginning is my end.”   ∼ T.S. Eliot In a passage often cited from the Pensees, which the author sets down in grim and graphic detail, Pascal summons the reader to reflect on the awful finality of death.   “The last act is bloody,” he tells us, “however fine the rest of the play. [...]

The Church Needs the New Homophiles

There is a group of Catholics who experience same-sex attraction. They accept the teachings of the Church on sexual morality. They do not act on their same-sex desires. They are chaste. They live lives of prayer, brotherhood and friendship, along with a sexual chastity that is proper to their station in life. You might think [...]

Our Hearts are Restless

I have just watched an extraordinary and deeply moving film, soon to be released by the Catholic apostolate Courage, called Desire of the Everlasting Hills. It is knit together, like a polychronic chorale, from the personal witnesses of three people, two men and one woman, who have come out of a life of sexual sin [...]

New Film Shows How to Leave the Gay Life Behind

The modern day LGBT movement wants you to believe that the people featured in the new documentary “Desire of the Everlasting Hills” really don’t exist. They are figments of the fevered imaginations of the Christian right. Meet Dan, Rilene and Paul, all refugees from deep enmeshment in the LGBT life, each finding a home in [...]

When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going

Just as Mr. Darcy’s aunt, the overbearing Lady Catherine De Bourgh, held that if she’d ever been taught music she would have been a great proficient, I’ve sometimes had the chumpaciousness to think that if I’d ever learned to draw I’d have been a good cartoonist. These inflated thoughts generally occur when I’ve got a [...]

Raising the Stakes

Recently I caught ten minutes of a ghastly television show called House.  It’s a medical drama whose scripts, filming, direction, and acting cover the spectrum from dour to grim.  The doctors were attempting to determine why an eighteen-year-old girl was suffering life-threatening convulsions. One guess was that they were severe reactions to an allergen.  “But [...]

Athanasius Contra Mundum: The Courage to Act Alone

Who among us does not long to go back and witness first-hand certain moments in Catholic history?  Certain decisive moments.  Here are a few of mine:  On the eve of the battle of Lepanto, Don John of Austria silenced his quarrelling admirals without raising his voice.  “Gentlemen,” he said.  “The time for counsel has passed.  [...]

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